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September 5, 2017 


LOS ANGELES 



DEPARTMENT 


RALPH M. TERRAZAS 
FIRE CHIEF 


August 23, 2017 


BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS 
FILE NO. 17-104 


IO: .Board of Fire Commissioners 

FROM: // Ralph M. Terrazas, Fire Chief 


SUBJECT: LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS 
POLICY: FOR DEPLOYMENT AND USE 


FINAL ACTION: 

Approved 

Approved w/Corrections 

Withdrawn 


Denied 

Received & Filed 

- Other 


SUMMARY 

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has studied the potential of acquiring federal 
authorization to utilize drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and potential 
departmental policies for such usage. The LAFD has worked with the City Attorney and 
the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), under the recommendation of the Board of 
Fire Commissioners, to finalize the attached Los Angeles Fire Department UAS Policy: 
For Deployment and Use. 

RECOMMENDATION 

That the Board: 

Approve and transmit to City Council (reference C.F.: 16-0410) the attached 
Department policy that provides and adheres to the guidelines for the safe and effective 
operation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). 

CONCLUSION 

This is a significant undertaking for the Department but one that is in direct alignment 
with the strategic plan. Capitalizing on advanced technologies via UAS will greatly 
improve our tactical effectiveness and provide for a more efficient deployment of 
resources in both the emergent and expanded incident management scenarios. 

Fire Departments continues to strive for the tools that provide our fire service 
professionals greater awareness and access to critical information allows for safer and 
more effective action. It is our obligation to do everything possible to protect and defend 
the safety and lives of the citizens of Los Angeles. 

Board report prepared by Richard Fields, Battalion Chief, Battalion 13. 


Attachment 














LOSANGELESFIRE 
D EPA R7M ENT UA S 
POUCY 

FOR DEPLOYMENT AND USE 





Table of Contents 

I. Introduction.2 

II. Purpose.3 

III. Safety Policy.8 

IV. Security Policy.10 

V. Program Oversight.12 

VI. Appendix.13 








Introduction 


Forthe purpose of thisdocument, the terms "Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)," and "Unmanned 
Aerial Vehicle" (UAV), will be interchangeable. (Unmanned Aerial "system" in orderto 
encompass the entirety of the vehicle that flies, the ground-based controller, and the 
communicationsconnection that connects the two.) Ma ny sources have variations in 
terminology when referencing the depiction of this technology. 

Vision 

Ihe basic assumption is that a UAV provides an efficient and effective way forgathering 
information forthe Los Angeles Fire Department ("Department"). Ihe UAV allowsfora clearer 
understanding of an event and assists in getting the right resources in place. It a Hows the 
inc ident comma nde rand hazard assessment tea ms to get a true visual of the incidents 
challengesthat can be communicated to local, state, and federal officials. This putseveryone 
on the same page of understanding. 

Ihe enhancement of situational a ware ness provides structure and details for hazard mitigation 
during the incident and sets the foundation forinc ident stabilization and post incident recovery. 

More importantly, this increased situational awareness positively impacts firefighter safety during 
wildland firefighting, technical rescues, search operations and hazardous materials incidents. 

During these inc ident typesthe UAScan safely and effectively be put into hazardous 
environmentsorareasthat could potentially jeopardize firefighter safety. Ihe situational 
awarenessgained by immediate, 360 degree, visual feedbackfrom both eye level and 
overhead cannot be matched by firefighters on the ground orby helicopters. Ihe UASisa 
beneficial instrument that improvesthe likelihood of successful emergency management 
operations, while also delegating risk of response operations to unmanned systems. 

Ihe value of this prog ram will also be seen in the deployment of the Unmanned Aerial System 
during the initial stabilization phase of an incident, primarily in areaswhere it isdangerousor 
ineffective to place people forthe purpose of gaining a clear understanding ofthe scope of the 
inc ident. Ihe technology would also be beneficial during the recovery phase forthe disaster 
assessment process. 

Ihe benefits of adding visual capabilities to the information-gathering processcannot be 
overstated. This technology expands the scope of disaster assessments by enabling incident 
comma ndersa betterunderstanding ofthe complexities associated with an incident and to 
collect and disseminate information at a fasterrate. Ihiswould improve the decision-making 
process for both the strategic and tactical objectives. Visual imagessent backfrom the UAV to 
the incident command post, Department Ope ratio ns Center (DOC) or Emergency Operations 
Center(EOC) will aid in speeding up the recovery process. 

Timely and accurate communication isessential in getting the right resources in place to 
mitigate an incident. Having the capability of observation enhancessituational awareness. It 
gives various agencies a collective viewpoint ofthe disastrous event and strengthens the 
assessment process by capturing community vulnerabilities. Visual communication narrows the 
interpretation on what is reported at the incident and provides visual perspective as to the 
extent of damage. 

Traditionally, contingency plans relied upon during the onset of a disaster came in the 
preparation phase. 


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Purpose 


Of the nearly 470,000 calls for service the Department respond s to annually, approximately 99% 
would not necessitate use of a specialized resource, such asa UAV. Ihe vast majority of 
Department responses- 85% - are emergency medical services calls. These high frequency, low- 
risk call typesoften take place in a private residence and neither require the establishment nor 
development of the Incident Command System (ICS). There is not likely a scenario underwhich 
a Department UAS would be requested to deploy in these circumstances. 

Fourteen percent of Department responses- usually structure fires- pose some risk to the public, 
property and firefighters, requiring the establishment and development of the ICS. In most cases, 
responding resourcesare able to handle the incident without the need for any specialized 
reso urc es, inc lud ing a ny use of a UAS. 

That leads to about l%of Department calls each year that could necessitate the use of a UAS. 
Such significant incidents pose a great challenge to Department members, resourcesand pose 
a considerable safety threat to all involved, including the affected community. By their nature, 
these low-frequency, high-risk incidents require every available means of gathering information 
to increase fire fighter safety and increase situational awareness. Emergencies where the 
complexity or sc ope of the incident require critical decision making on the part of the incident 
comma nderand orpose a significant risk to firefighter safety could require the use of a 
Department UAS. 

Those calls would include, but are not limited to: Hazardous mate rials incidents, confined space 
rescues, high/ low angle rescues, swift ormoving water rescues or any otherexpanded or 
extended incident. A process for requesting a UAS follows in this document. 

Objectives 

To clearly define the conditio ns and para meters underwhich the Department will operate and 
deploy a UASwithin the City limitsand mutual aid communitiesasa supplement to pre-planning, 
training, incident assessment, and incident command operations. The primary role of the UAS is 
insertion into emergent orongoing events that pose a risk to public safety orthreats to the City’s 
infrastructure by providing "realtime" hazard assessment utilizing High Resolution (zoom 
capable) cameras, Infrared/Thermal Sensors, Night Vision Image sensorsand Ga^Chemical 
Sensors (Sniffers). 

As stated, these deployments will not be part of the typical Department response. Information 
garnered from a Department UASwill be used for informational and/ortraining purposes. 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENT UAS PO LIC Y - J ULY 2017 


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Mission Specific Deployment 

As an all risk response agency, the Department responds to all calls for help. Although not meant 
to be "all inclusive" orexclusive of any emergent incidenttype, the following are primary 
scenarios under which the Department UAScan be requested, deployed and utilized: 

Structure Fires - Deployment of UAS'sto structure fires, in particular, buildingssuspected of 
structural compromise; i.e. roof, walls or floors related to and during the initial action phase and 
final mitigation of an incident. 

Hiker (Hi/Low Angle Rescue) Incidents - Deployment of UAS's in wilderness areas to (1). Verify the 
existence and location of lost or injured personswho have called 911 for assistance while in 
hiking, camping ore limbing. (2). Confirm the safest and most effective means of dispatching 
Department rescue team members to make contact with such persons. 

Swift Water Incidents - Deployment of UAS'sto City waterways, large bodiesof waterorduring 
precipitous weatherevents (heavy rains) forthe purpose of verifying the existence of and 
identifying the location of trapped or injured persons in swiftly moving water (at least 3 miles per 
hourand depthsgreaterthan 6 inches). 

Extended/Expanded Incidents - Deployment of UAS'sto incidents la sting more than 12 hours in 
duration, where an Department Field Incident Management Team (F.I.M.T.) assumes command 
of an incident in place of the original Incident Commander. 

Wildfire Mitigation - Deployment of UAS's In Local, State and Federal areas for the purpose of 
GPS topographic mapping, planning and implementing control objectives. Fordeveloping 
hazard mitigation strategies; i.e., structure defense, perimeter contra I (hot spots) and 
containment assessment. Under NO c ire: umstances will a UASbe operated while manned 
aircraft a re in operation. 

Natural Disaster Response and Assessment - Deployment of UAS'sto accelerate situational 
awareness necessary to begin the recovery process. To collect and disseminate information 
through visual imagessent backto the incident command post, DOC orEOC forvarious 
agenciesto have a collective viewpoint of a disastrous event and strengthens the assessment 
processby capturing community vulnerabilities. 

Hazardous Materia I Mitigation - Deployment of UAS'swith dual-purpose sensorpayload, high 
resolution camera to identifyeontainmentareasand amount of content forliquid spillsor 
G as'Chemic a I Sensors (Sniffers) to collect a ir/enviranment samples for ana lysis and 
identification. 

Wide Area Search and Rescue - utilizing Infrared (IR) sensors to locate a lost person in low light 
tracking and deploying resources in areaswhere radio orcellularcommunication is impacted, 
diminished orunavailable. 

Structure Collapse/Confined Space Search and Rescue - Deployment of UAS's utilizing IR sensors 
to provide night-vision footage to track heat signaturesof bodies, pinpointing the locationsof 
survivors, and providing hazard assessment for rescuers access and egress. 

Planned Training Events - Use of UASs for training exercises intended to simulate any of the 
above mentioned "real" scenarios. Use of UASs for training purposes shall be limited to events 
thattake place on Department property, such as Drill towers 40, 81 or89, Frank Hotchkin 
Memorial Training Center, live fire training, J ensen Filtration Plant, or local fire stations. 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENTUAS PO LIC Y - J ULY 2017 


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The Department's primary intention for integrating UAS technology into its initial action hazard 
mitigation and response matrix is to increase the incident commanders "situational awareness" 
to fully understand the challengesof a given incident in "real time" thereby providing critical 
information necessary to guide decision-making. Ultimately, those dec isions impact the amount 
of risk the incident comma nderis willing to assume with firefighters lives. 

Deployment G uidelines 

Policy : 

It shall be the policy of the Department to provide and strictly adhere to the guidelinesforthe 
safe and effective operation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). 

Objective : 

To clearly define the conditio ns and para meters under which the Department will operate and 
deploy a UASwithin the City limitsand mutual aid communitiesasa supplement to pre-planning, 
training, incident hazard assessment, and incident command operations. "The development of 
this policy and procedures incorporates Department Air Ope ratio ns knowledge of FAA 
regulations, to include conceptsof Operational Risk Management (ORM), Crew Resource 
Management (CRM), Aviation Training Operations Procedures Standardization (AID PS) and 
stakeholders. 


Flight Procedures 

Ihe UAS is an operational tool to be used by certain authorized Department personnel in 
response to "all hazard" scenarios, which include: active structure fires; post-extinguishment 
phasesof a structure fire; brush (wild land) firesand natural disasterdamage assessment; 
hazardous materia I identifications; and confined area search operations, such as "river rescue" 
and "hiker" incidents.Ihe UASisalso intended to be used fortraining exercises, such as 
operational pre-planning training (drills) and related video production. 

Ihe Department's UAS will not be used to monitor members of the public orprovide surveillance 
forlaw enforcement purposes. Its intended use is to provide greatersituational awareness to 
inc ident commanders thereby enhanc ing fire fighter safety in response to and mitigation of 
emergent situations and inc ident types unrelated to citizen monitoring or surveillance. 

1. Ihe Department UASwill only be operated by trained, certified and (FAA part 107 or 
higher) licensed members (operators and observer) of the Department. 

2. Ihe UASwill be used for Department- related purposesonly. Ihe Department might, as 
part of California regional partnerships, Mutual Aid orAutomatic Aid agreements, 
operate the UASoutside of "city" boundaries when dispatched to assist another regional 
Fire Department. 

3. Ihe UASwill NOT be lent to any other department oragency. Flowever, if dispatched or 
properly requested, the UAS, operated by an Department UAS team memberfs), can be 
utilized in accordance with the provisionsof the COA and the Department UAS Policy. 

4. For Department UAS flights, including pilot orobservercertification and training orln- 
Service Training production, the "pilot in charge" SHALL request an incident number 
through Metro Fire Communications. 

5. ForDepartment UAS flights during live incidents, the "pilot in charge" SHALLensure or 
request the UAS be added to the existing Incident. In all cases, incident information 
SHALL include: launch time, exact location, pilot in charge, mission type and UAS ID. 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENT UAS PO LIC Y - J ULY 2017 


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Upon request of the Department Incident Comma nderorDepartment Representative, when the 
Department isan assisting agency, the UASflightteam (opera torand an observer) will deploy to 
the designated location within the Department fire protection area, aswell as its surrounding 
Automatic Aid, Mutual Aid, Mutual threat Zbnesand regional response areas, the UASflight 
team will conduct a pre-flight assessment of the incident environment to ensure the proposed 
operation iswithin COA guidelinesand Department UAS Policy. 

the UAS Operator a long with UAS Ob server will determine if safe operation of the UAScan be 
accomplished as requested, the decision will be contingent upon several factors to include 
physical features of the area, obstructions to flight, terrain, and the weather. The UAS Operator 
will make the final determination ifflightopeiationscan be initiated. 

The Incident Comma nderand/orUASOperatorwill coordinate with the Department's Air 
Operations Section Commander or Chief Pilot for final clearance for ALL UAS flight operations. 

UAS Tea ms 

UASTeamsare an operator(pilot) and observer. The "team" concept isestablished to train for 
and respond to each authorized UAS mission. (Fire Ground Over-watch, Search and Rescue, 

Swift Water Rescue, etc.) 

Each UASTeam will operate with at least two membersof the Department (pilot-in-command 
and observer). Each memberwill be assigned a specific role prior to flight. Additional team 
members may be needed for complex missions, including Uaison and auxiliary Remote 
Contra Her (for independent gimbal/sensorcontrol) The UASTeam will always have a leastone 
certified pilot; thiscan be comprised of (2) Pilotsor(l) Pilot and (1) Observer. 

UAS Pilot 

The Department UASwill only be operated by Department personnel trained in its safe and 
effective operation. These members will normally be trained and licensed field personnel for 
emergent incidents or trained and licensed members assigned to the In-Service Training Section 
forflightsnot related to an emergency response. 

UAS operators must be Department personnel and must have at minimum, an FAA part 107 
license and a minimum of two hoursof knowledge based training and a minimum of Iburhours 
of skills. Thisgenerally includes Simula tor flights, a knowledge test of Federal Aviation Regulations, 
safety, maintenances proficiency test on the UAS, training conducted by a designated 
Department UAS instructor and ten hoursof supervised in-flight operation. 

UAS operators must maintain hi^herpart 107 license, maintain flight logsand all necessary 
recordsto meetthe FAA's requirements. UAS opera tors will also be required to open, complete 
and maintain a task book specific to specialized flight operations; i.e. HazMat, Urban Search 
and Rescue orconfined space flight priorto operating any DEPARTMENT UAS in that area. 
Additional regularly scheduled training/proficiency tests, asdetermined by the UASU Captain, 
must be completed and documented. 

The UASOperatorwill also be the team leader. The Operatorwill be ultimately responsible forthe 
operation and solely responsible forinput of comma ndsof the UASduring flight. The Operator 
will also be responsible for UAS assembly, flight preparation, post flight procedures, UAS 
disassembly/storage proceduresand documenting all UASflights 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENT UAS PO LIC Y - J ULY 2017 


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UASObserver 

Ihe UAS Flight Observer will maintain a visual observation of the UAS while in flight and alert the 
PIC of any conditio ns (obstructions, terrain, structures, a ir traffic, weather, etc.), which may 
affectthe safety of a flight. UAS Flight Observers will also ensure thatthe Opera toris not 
interrupted during flight. 

Ihe FlightObserver'sadded function is to coordinate and communicate operations between 
the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) and ground personnel. 

Additionally, the Flight Observerwill be responsible forall aviation related communications 
required by Federal Aviation Regulations(FARs). 

To accomplish this, the observer should be in close proximity and have constant communication 
with the PIC to ensure instant relaying of information. 

UAS Data Technician 

Ihe UAS Data Technician will be utilized anytime the documentation captured by the UAS needs 
to be processed and transmitted in "realtime" orin the initial action phase of an incident. 


LOSANGELES FIRE DEPAFCINIENTUAS POLICY-J ULY 2017 


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Safety Policy 


Commitment to Safety 

Ihe Department iscommitted to having a safe and healthy aeronautical workplace, including: 

• An ongoing pursuit of an accident free workplace, including no harm to people, 
equipment, the environment orproperty. 

• A culture of open reporting of all safety hazards in which management will not initiate 
disciplinary action against any personnel who, in good faith, disclose a hazard orsafety 
occurrence due to unintentional orintentional conduct. 

• Support forsafety training and awareness programs. 

• Conducting regular audits of safety policies, procedures, and practices. 

• Monitoring the UAS community to ensure best safety practices a re incorporated into the 
organization. 

It is the duty of every Department member with UAS responsibilities to contribute to the goal of 
continued safe operations. Ih is contribution may come in many fo ms and includes always 
operating in the safest mannerand avoiding unnecessary risks. Any safety hazards, whether 
procedural, operational, ormaintenance related should be identified assoon as possible. Any 
suggestions in the interest of safety should be made to the UASU Captain orTeam Leader 
without reservation. 

If any member of Department UAS Flight Team observes or has knowledge of an unsafe or 
dangerousact committed by anothermember, the incident commanderand the DEPARTMENT 
UAS shall be notified immediately so that corrective action may be taken. 

Ground Safety 

• The pilot and flight observer must always be aware of dangers to ground personnel from 
moving rotors. 

• The pilot shall underno circumstances leave any unauthorized person in charge of the 
UAScontrols while the UAS is running. 

• If it is necessary for the pilot to leave the contra Is of the UAS, the engine will be shut 
down, battery removed, and the controls deactivated. 

• Only mission essential personnel will be in proximity to UAS launch and recovery activities. 
When operating overpopulated areas, the pilot will ensure that a "defined incident 
perimeter" exists to limit the potential of persons being present beneath the UAS flight 
path. 


Night Flight Operations 

• To assist the pilot, a secondary (auxiliary) Video Camera Remote Contra Her with a video 
monitorscreen should be deployed forindependent gimbal/sensorcontral. 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENT UAS PO LIC Y - j ULY 2017 


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• UASteam members should obtain the minimum altitude necessary to avoid obstructions 
in the operating area priorto nightfall if possible. 

• Due to field of view and distortion issues, night vision goggles may not be used as the 
primary me a ns for visual observation duties. Such devicesare ONLY permitted for 
augmentation of the Flight Observer's visual capability. 

• Flight Observers must use caution to ensure the UA remainswithin normal line-of-sight. 

• The use of UAS Staff and the use of lighting and/or IR beacons to identify the 
launch/recoverareas is highly recommended. 


Deconfiiction of Aire raft within Operational AirSpace 

All UAS flights shall be grounded upon arrival of approved manned aircraft entering the 
operational airspace. 

Deconfliction shall be initiated by the Lead PIC of the aircraft. 

Incident Commanders shall notapprove UASflightsto resume until the Lead PIC ofthe aircraft 
designates UAS operating areas and approves UAS use during manned flight operations. 

It is the responsibility ofthe UAS pilot and Flight Observer to confirm and maintain awareness of 
all manned aircraft activity during UAS operations. 

In the event a non-Department UAS is identified in our ope rational airspace (incursion), the 
Lead PIC shall notify the Incident Commanderand follow the "incursion protocol" found in the 
Department UAS Operations Manual. 


LOSANGELES FIRE DEPAFCINIENTUAS POLICY-J ULY 2017 


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Security Policy 


Chain of Custody for Retained Material 

1. All recorded photo/video material related to a Department emergent response shall be 
archived and cataloged immediately afterthe conclusion of the incident; then surrender 
any recorded photo/video materialto the Section Commander, Arson/Counter Terrorism 
Section, the Department'sofficial custodian of records. 

2. All recorded photo/video material notrelated to a Department response; i.e. planned 
training event, shall be surrendered to the In -Service Training Section by permission of the 
custodian of records (Section Commander, Arson/ Counter Terrorism Section). 

3. All recorded photo/video material notrelated to a Department response; i.e. planned 
Department training events, involving Department personne/ and/oron Department 
property" shall be used, edited, reviewed and approved for internal dissemination within 
60 d a vs . 

4. All recorded photo/video material notrelated to a Department response; i.e. planned 
Department training events, public relatio ns events or involving non-Department 
personnel, in public space or in and around public property or domains shall be 
edited/produced, reviewed and approved by Community Liaison Office. 

Records Retention 

Ihe Department strivesto gain, develop and maintain the trust of the public it serves. Ihe 
Department's primary intention for integrating UAS technology into its initial action hazard 
mitigation and response matrix is to increase the incident commanders' "situational awareness." 
Situational awareness is the ability to fully understand the challenges of a given incident in "real 
time," thereby providing critical information necessary to guide decision-making. Ultimately, 
those decisions impact the amount of risk he/she is willing to assume with firefighters' lives. 

In most cases, "real time" information will be captured solely to transmit "live" footage to a 
Department Incidentcommanderorcommand post. Although there may be occasional 
benefits to sharing, recording and retaining visual data, this is NOT the intended purpose when a 
UAS is launched in public space or in and around public property or domains. 

Ihe Department or any entity associated with the Department UAS Program will not engage in 
the indiscriminate, unobscured publication of footage depicting non-Department personnel. 
Visual data shall neverbe displayed on the Department's public facing website orsocial media 
portals when not in the best interest of the public. It is the intent of the Department by policy and 
practice, to protectthe privacy interestsof membersof the public orother"non-Department 
personnel." 

Ihe Department or any entity associated with the Department UAS Program will not permit any 
retained visual data to be merged with other surveillance databases, or retained solely forthe 
purpose of mining the data at a la ter time by the Department or other a gene ies. 


It will be the Department's policy and practice to record visual data of the emergent incident 
only where there isa specific, identified Department need. Although this is not an exhaustive list, 
such needswould include footage thatcaptured an unusual occ urre nee; occurrence ofserious 
building compromise orcollapse; roof compromise orcollapse; large area involvement with fire 
(conflagration, fla shove r, backd raft or explosion); injury or death to a firefighter or member of 
the public; orin connection with anticipated orpending litigation orcompelling public interest. 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENT UAS PO LIC Y - J ULY 2017 


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It will be the Department's policy and practice to retain visual footage after the conclusion of 
the emergent incident if thatfootage captured an unusual occurrence, such as: occurrence of 
serious building compromise orcollapse, roof compromise orcollapse, large area involvement 
with fire (conflagration, flashover, backdraft orexplosion), injury ordeath to a firefighteror 
memberof the public, orin connection with anticipated orpending litigation orcompelling 
public interest. 

Ihe decision to record and subsequently retain any visual data captured in public space orin 
and around public property ordoma inswill be balanced against the competing but equally 
important public concern for transparency. Ihe retention of any visual footage or audio file will 
be in accordance with the Los Angeles Administrative Code, Division 12, Chapter 1, Section 
12.3, 12.4, and 12.5. 

RecordsSharing 

Visual information will be captured to transmit "live" footage to a Department Incident 
commanderorcommand post. Viewing such live footage may occurduring exigent 
ciroumstanceswhere an incident demandsorimpacts the resources or responsibilities of other 
entitiessuch aslaw enforcement, public agencies, utility providersorpolitical bodies. During 
these "Unified Command" scenarios, non- LAFD personnel may have visual access to images 
captured by a LAFD UAS but only for the purpose of providing critical information in "real time" 
necessary to guide decision-making and increasing "situational awareness." 

Ihe Department or any entity associated with the Department's UAS Program will not engage in 
the indiscriminate sharing orunwarranted surrendering of footage depicting non-Department 
personnel. Moreover, the Department will notfreely surrenderany footage captured via a UAS 
to any other governmental or non-govemmental agency except in special c ircumstances, such 
aswhere doing so: Is necessary to carryouta fire, rescue, disaster, orotherLAFD mission; is for 
the purposesof a mutual-aid mission; is required underany lawsgoveming the disclosure of 
government records; oris required pursuant to a duty issued courtorder. 

It is the intent of the Department by policy and practice, to protectthe privacy interestsof 
members of the public orother "non-Department personnel." 


LOSANGELES FIRE DEPAFCINIENTUAS POLICY-J ULY 2017 


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Program Oversight 


The Board of Fire Commissioners (the Board) 

As the Department's civilian oversight body, the Board shall have the authority and responsibility 
of oversight of the Department UAS Prog ram, its ad he re nee to established policyand itsoverall 
efficacy. Ihisoversight will include review of quarterly reports on UASflights, mission objectives, 
any photographic orvideo images retained and a program benefits analysis. 

As the Department UAS Program growsand evolves, there may be a need to add, delete or 
modify not only the specific uses and deployment scenarios but the written policy and 
guidelines. In the event substantive changes in the Department's use of UAV's, or the collection, 
retention, oraccessto such information occur, the Fire Chief will request review and approval of 
said changes by the Board and City Council’s Public Safety Committee. 


Independent Assessor 

Ihe Board's independent assessororothernamed designee will serve the role, if so directed by 
the Board, of reviewing the Department's use of UAS including whether the original rationale for 
deployment is met, whetherthe Department iscomplying with its stated policiesand approved 
purposes, and whetherthe UAS program representsa worthwhile public expenditure. Ihe 
subsequent report will be provided to the Board quarterly. 

Program Authorizers 

A three-person panel, who report to the Emergency Ope ratio ns Chief Deputy, made up of the 
UAS Prog ram Coordinator and the Battalion Chiefs assigned to Air Ope ratio ns and In-Service 
Training Section. 

Auttiorizerl: Department UAS Program Coordinator- Responsible for maintaining the 
compliance, performance and adherence to policyof the UAS Program. Responsible forall UAS 
equipment inventory, expenditures, maintenance and related reports. 

Authorized: AirOperations Battalion Chief- Responsible forensuring propermaintenance of 
flight records, flight logs, training hoursand licensesto meet FAA regulationsfor UAS pilots and 
observers. Responsible forensuring UAS pilots and observers remain current on FAA rules and 
have a thorough working knowledge of Department AirOperations. 

Authorized: In Service Training Section Battalion Chief- Responsible forcoordinating the 
development and delivery of training and training materials related to the Department UAS 
program. Also responsible for receiving, verifying and maintaining all prerequisite training, 
training recordsand related documentation formembersentering into the Department UAS 
program. 

Rogram Instructors- Department UAS Program Instructors will be Department memberswho 
have, at a minimum, maintained a Part 107 license, hascompleted an FAA recognized training 
course for"ground school" and flight operations, hasa minimum of 25 hoursof logged UASflight 
in a quadcopter, hexicopterorhigherorhasequiva lent flight, flightcrew orflight observer 
training. 


LOS ANG ELES FIRE DEPARTM ENT UAS PO LIC Y - J ULY 2017 


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Appendix 


DEFINITIONS: 

Data Technician : The person assigned to the Command Post to provide "realtime" photo/video 
or other information, obtained from UAS mounted "sensors" to the Incident Commander (this 
role can be filled by the EFI/Captain I Adjutant). 

Ground Control Station (GCS) : Isa component of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Consists 
of the operator control unit (OCU), ground data terminal (GDT) and associated cables and 
antennas. This GCS providesthe interface between the Pilot in Command (PIC) and the 
unmanned aircraft (UA). 

Ground Data Terminal (GDT) : Isa component of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Contains 
all the necessary equipment for the communication links between the UA and the operator 
control unit (OCU) forboth data and video. Also containsa Global Positioning System (GPS) to 
enable the operatorto determine the system's location. 

Uaison : A person who interacts with incident personnel to avoid distracting the PIC and observer 
from their duties. 

National Airspace (NAS) : The National Airspace System is the network of the United States 
airspace, air navigation facilities, services, airports, regulations, procedures, technical 
information, manpower, and material shared jointly between the Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) and the military. 

• Airspace isclassified based on the activities the re in which must be confined because e 
of theirnature. 

• There are 4typesof airspace thatfall under2 Categories. 

Observer : The observeris responsible forvisual observation and safety of the unmanned aircraft 
(UA) while in flight. 

OperatorControl Unit (OCU) : Is a component of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Consists of 
the control transmitterorcomputerthat is used to make changesto the aircraft position and 
altitude and the data/video transmitted by the UA. 

Payload : The amount of equipmentcarried bythe aircraft. Typically divided between 
command and control communications (radio receiverantenna) and video (camera, 
transmitter). 

Person Manipulating the Controls : A person otherthan the remote pilot in command 
(PIC) who iscontrolling the flight of an UASunderthe supervision of the remote PIC. 

Pilot-In-Command (PIC) : The person directly responsible for a II operations including safety of the 
UA asdescribed by Federal Aviation Regulations (FARS) 91.3. 

Remote Controller: The wirelesscommunication device that providesthe interface between the 
opera to rand the UAS. 

Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC orRemote Pilot) : A person who holds a remote pilot 
certificate with a sUAS rating and hasthe final authority and responsibility forthe operation and 
safety of a sUASoperation conducted under part 107. 


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Small Unmanned Aire raft (sUA) : A UA weighing .5 poundsormore but less than 55 pounds, 
including everything that isonboard orotherwise attached to the aircraft, and can be flown 
without the possibility of direct human intervention from within oron the aircraft. 

Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sLIAS) : A small UA and its associated elements (including 
communication linksand the components that control the small UA) that are required forthe 
safe and efficient operation of the small UA in the NAS. 

Sensors : High Resolution (zoom capable) cameras, Infrared/lhermal Sensors, Night Vision Image 
sensors, Ga^Chemical Sensors (Sniffers) - Not all use scenarioswill use photo orvideo cameras 

Unmanned Aircraft (UA) : An aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention 
from within oron the aircraft. 

UAS : An Unmanned Aerial System also known as a drone 

Video Camera Remote Controller : The person in control of the second orauxiliary remote 
control. Contra Is only the gimbal/ sensor portion of the UAS. Needsconstant communication with 
PIC forsafe operation. (See night operations.) 

Visual Observer (VO) : A person acting asa flightcrew memberwho assists the small UA remote 
PIC and the person manipulating the controls to see and avoid other air traffic orobjectsaloft or 
on the ground. 


LOSANGELES FIRE DEPAFCINIENTUAS POLICY-J ULY 2017 


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